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Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 15:17 UK

Brayford flattered by Derby link

John Brayford (r)
Brayford joined Crewe for an initial 80,000 from Burton in September

Crewe defender John Brayford says he is flattered by reports linking him with a move to Derby County but says he will not let them go to his head.

The 21-year-old played under Rams boss Nigel Clough at his former club Burton before joining the Alex in September.

Brayford told BBC Radio Stoke: "It is nice to be linked with teams in higher divisions but it is just speculation.

"People have put two and two together because Clough is my old boss but my objective is with Crewe at the moment."

The versatile defender, who can play full-back or centre-back, signed a three-year contract at the Alexandra Stadium last autumn.

If you give players a little bit of time to adjust, then there is no reason why they cannot play at this level

Derby boss Nigel Clough

Crewe paid an initial £80,000 for Brayford and have since given the Brewers an extra £25,000.

Brayford, who has been in impressive form despite his side's poor league form, added: "I think everybody tries to play at the highest level they can, and if that is by getting Crewe as high as they can, then so be it - there are other players here in the same boat."

The Alex need to win their final game of the season against champions Leicester and hope other results go their way if they are to stay in League One.

Clough, who was linked with Burton defender Jake Buxton earlier this week, believes there are plenty of players in the lower divisions and outside the Football League who could make an impact on the Championship.

Talking about Buxton, the Rams boss told BBC Radio Derbyshire: "Until we get him in and give him an opportunity, then we will never know.

"Jake's defensive partner at Mansfield over many years in League Two was Alex Baptiste.

"Alex went to Blackpool at the start of the season and didn't get in initially but, for the last three or four months, he has been in every week and playing very well for them. So if you give players a little bit of time to adjust, then there is no reason why they cannot play at this level."



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